Weeds

Amaranth, Spiny

Amaranth, Spiny
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Amaranthus spinosus. Similar to smooth pigweed has spines at the leaf nodes.
Spiny Pigweed is found in the eastern US. Members of this genus share many characteristics and uses with members of the closely related genus Celosia. Although several species are often considered weeds, people around the world value amaranths as leaf vegetables, cereals, and ornamentals. An erect summer annual that may reach as much as 6-1/2 feet in height. Cotyledons are narrow and have a reddish tint. First true leaves are alternate, ovate in shape, and slightly notched at the tip of the leaf blade. Hairs may occur on the leaf margins and along veins, especially along the lower leaf surfaces. Stems also have short hairs, more so than with redroot pigweed. Mature plants have leaves that are alternate, ovate in outline, and generally with less wavy margins than redroot pigweed. Flowers are inconspicuous and produced in dense, compact terminal and axillary panicles that are longer than those of redroot pigweed and not prickly to the touch.